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Addressing Security Issues in Direct Mail Campaigns

OCTOBER 15, 2001 ? Not so long ago, a trip to the mailbox in front of your house was a just routine part of your day. However, the recent reports of anthrax contamination of U.S. Mail have caused many Americans to approach their mailboxes with caution - and some folks have become very selective about which pieces of mail to open and which ones to throw away.

Persuading recipients to open a piece of direct mail has always been a daunting task. Because of the anthrax scares, it's now more of a challenge than ever! To meet this challenge, suggestion and guidelines are offered by several organizations whose missions and business activities are closely tied to direct mail.


Suggestions & guidelines from PODi

In the November 6, 2001 issue of its Digital Print Bytes newsletter, The Digital Printing Initiative (PODi) advocates the use of postcards or self-mailers (instead of envelopes) in direct-mail campaigns because "nobody ever wonders what's inside a postcard."

PODi also offers other tips aimed at reaching recipients who might hesitate to open a piece of mail. They include:
  • If a postcard or self-mailer isn't appropriate for your campaign. use a window envelope so that the recipient can peek inside, and imprint a return address on your envelope.

  • Use Standard Mail instead of first-class mail. Standard Mail (also known as bulk mail) enters the U.S. Postal Service's system only at controlled entry points, but first-class mail can be dropped into any mailbox; therefore, an individual with evil intentions would find it difficult to contaminate a piece of Standard Mail.


Suggestions & guidelines from DMA

On its Web site at www.the-dma.org/cgi/dispannouncements?article=123, the Direct Marketing Association (DMA) offers an extensive list of guidelines. Some of them are:
  • Use printed envelopes instead of plain ones.

  • Use a return address that includes your company logo.

  • Put your toll-free phone number and Web URL on the envelope.

  • Use an email campaign or telemarketing campaign to notify consumers that mail will be coming.


Suggestions & guidelines from PrintBuyersOnLine.com

PrintBuyersOnLine.com helps print buyers save time and money on by providing free education, solutions and resources. The following page on the PrintBuyersOnLine.com Web site has several links to information about security issues related to direct-mail marketing:

     www.printbuyersonline.com/content.asp?id=736.



Security standards published by EU Services

EU Services is a large, full-color, full-service printing-and-mailing company in the Washington, DC area. The company has implemented a comprehensive security program for its plant. The EU Services security program appears to be extensive and very carefully crafted. It could be used as a model by other printing-and-mailing companies.

Read all about it on the EU Services Web site (www.euservices.com).


 




    
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